Tim finds success helping others get tech-savvy

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 1:00PM

The man behind one of Millom's most successful companies has spoken about how his firm has achieved national recognition.

Tim Wakeling, 41, heads The Helpful Book Company, a publishing firm based on Devonshire Road Industrial Estate, Millom. It publishes guides to the world of computers and technology and employs 15 staff.

It has sold more than 300,000 copies of its books in the past 12 years.

He said: "I started the business back in 2005. I was working for another publisher, but got bored.

"Like a lot of people, I had spent a lot of time with my mum and dad, teaching them how to use their computer, and I had written a lot of things down. I thought that there must be other people out there who might find them helpful and maybe this was something I could do instead."

The firm has since gone on to publish books about all aspects of technology and Mr Wakeling added that the formula has always stayed the same.

"When you look at other books on these kinds of subjects they often seem to assume that the person they are speaking to is technology confident," he explained.

"If they were, then they would not need help. You need to come to the subjects nice and easily."

He also has a clear idea of who buys his firm's books.

Mr Wakeling said: "It is predominantly older people - most of our sales are to people who are 50-plus. Our oldest customer was 100 and it was a wonderful thing to help him. Things are very different from when we started - people used to have a PC and that was it, now they have PCs, smartphones tablets and other devices so there is more for them to know about."

This leads the firm to do something which is now rare.

"One of the things with having older customers is that they sometimes like to do things in old-fashioned ways so we will still take cheques," he said.

He is also confident about the future. "Next month we will be publishing our new book on Facebook," he said.

• This interview is taken from October's issue on in-Cumbria magazine, which is available now.

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